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Man killed in house fire

ESCAMBIA COUNTY - A house fire that killed a man in Escambia County is under investigation. It happened around 3:00 AM Sunday morning on the 500 block of Pelham Road. The State Fire Marshal has not yet released the official cause.

The fire gutted the home. The front window is gone with a few shards of glass left around the frame. Firefighters knocked a big hole in the front door as they battled the flames.

"Well, I heard a pop from that window and then I heard the sirens coming," said David Coy, who lives across the street.

Coy says after the fire woke him up, he immediately looked outside and saw smoke billowing from the roof of the home and flames shooting from the windows.

"Now, I'm telling you something, you talk about a fire crew going to work and workin' quick," Coy said, "They were on top of that thing."   
   
The firefighters drenched the flames with their hoses and knocked the fire down within about a half-hour. But as quickly as they acted, a man who neighbors say lived in the home alone was dead.

Beverly Enfinger, who lives just down the street, said, "He was a good man. He cared for people. He would help people."

Enfinger says she's heartbroken. She says she knew the victim for about 15 years.

"He stayed to himself mostly," Enfinger said, "Sometimes he'd come riding down on the street in his wheelchair with his little dog running behind him."
   
Enfinger says her neighbor was in his mid-60's and that he had health problems. She and others we spoke with off-camera remember him as a kind, generous man who'd regularly share cigarettes, food and more.

"If somebody's car was broke down, he'd let 'em use his truck," Enfinger said, "I wish he was in a better place now."

The victim's dog survived the fire and is all right. It was taken to the county animal shelter.